‘Honolulu’ Category


Want Me To Jump?

Kayla Shumate, age 10, traveling with grandmother, posting from Honolulu, Hawaii—G mom and I are at the Polynesian Cultural Center, sitting on a wooden bench watching the Samoa tribe show us clapping differences. A new man comes up and is making us laugh already. I knew I was going to enjoy this. He first shows us how to crack a coconut. He rips it open with his bare hands. He shows us the tiny face inside. He picked up a rock and banged it on the coconut. It cracked in two. He called up a kid in a red shirt, and shared the coconut with him. The host said “ugh disgusting.” We all laugh with tears in our eyes. After the laughter calmed down he showed us how to make fire. He got a long thin stick. He broke it in ¾ and ¼. He scraped the two sticks together and smoke came up from the two. He picked up dry grass and put it up against the two sticks. Then fire rose from the burning dry grass. He pointed to a man standing next to a tree and said “This man will show you how to climb a palm tree.” He climbed up the tree like Spider Man. When he reached the top he asked “Want me to jump?” » read more


The Shopping Isle

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “What did you buy?” is the question most often asked in Honolulu, frequently followed by “How do I look?” In case you think most people come here to lie on the beach in the peaceful shade of the palm trees, you are wrong. More people come to Honolulu to shop. High-end merchandise costs less in Honolulu than it does in Japan, we were told. The Waikiki Trolley Pink Line, departing every 10 minutes for a 16-point Stop and Shop run, has special Japanese language trolleys; in fact on every trolley signs give information and directions in both English and Japanese. The Aussies and the Mainlanders do their fair share of shopping too; if you aren’t toting a shopping bag, you are considered to have wasted your day. Temptation doesn’t miss a beat; the ticket office for the trolley line is in the DFS Galleria, once of the glitziest shopping arenas you are likely to see in a lifetime. That’s where they sell “luxury brand-name products duty-free.” “Wow” was what granddaughter Kayla said at the sight of the high-tech mod display by the escalator. “Let’s check it out.” » read more


Something Fishy at the Dance

Kayla Shumate, age 10, traveling with grandmother, posting from Honolulu, Hawaii—G mom and I went to a hula dance show at Kuhio Beach Park last night. I brought my Hello Kitty towel with me so we could sit on the grass. The music players were playing Hawaiian music and it sounded nice. There were two hula dancers wearing skirts made of tea leaves. First they danced with the uliuli. Uliuli is feathered gourd rattles. The next one was the puili. Puili is bamboo rattles. The final one was ipu. Ipu is a hollow gourd used sort of like a drum. The host told all the newcomers to Hawaii to raise their hands so I raised mine. He said for all the newcomers to come up to the stage. We were going to learn how to hula! » read more


The Black Tear

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “To the best of our knowledge, there are 13 remaining survivors,” the Ranger told us, as we gathered on the windy platform that stands sentinel over the remains of the USS Arizona. Out of the crew of 1,511, there were 334 crewmen who survived the December 7 attack, 1941. We were shown the movie first; live footage of events and fears that led up to the attack; Japanese and US defense strategies; consequences. Now here, peering down into the waters of Pearl Harbor, we see the rusted evidence of that day, an iridescent oil slick shimmering in the waves part of the story too.  » read more


It Was Left Alone

Kayla Shumate, age 10, traveling with grandmother, posting from Honolulu, Hawaii—G mom and I went to the USS Arizona. We got our tickets, and waited for our turn. We had 12:30 tickets. When it was 12:30, we went in to watch the movie about the USS Arizona. I learned that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor shortly before 8:00 on December 7th 1941. The ship’s air raid went off about 7:55. The bombers scored four hits and three near misses on and around the Arizona. The last bomb hit at 8:06 in Gun Turret III. The explosion killed 1,177 out of the 1,511 crew. The movie ended and we went out to our boat to go see the sunken ship. » read more


Castles in the Sand

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “Don’t bother buying sunscreen for the beach,” we were advised. “There are so many people at Waikiki all you have to do is get in the water and somebody else’s sunscreen will wash all over you.” Well eww, was our thought. But it’s the first day of summer! Who can resist an afternoon at the beach? And we were only two blocks away from Kuhio Beach Park, wide open for public use. We bought a Hello Kitty beach towel at the International Market next door. We bought the requisite pail and shovel, and a mat for sitting on the sand. And we bought our own personal sunscreen, because, well, eww. Out the door and down the elevator; Granddaughter Kayla swung the pail and danced down the block; past the hula hula dolls in the Made in Hawaii window; past the Ukulele shop and the Flip Flop store; past the giant banyan tree. We stopped to admire the statue of The Duke, Surfing Champion; grand swimmer; Olympic medalist. Surfboards were propped in the sand ahead of us; surfers were out on the waves, most of them in the paddling stage. Kayla picked her spot at the water’s edge; “Build me a castle,” was my request. » read more


Me and the Duke at the Beach

Kayla Shumate, age 10, traveling with grandmother, posting from Honolulu, Hawaii –G mom and I went to the beach today. It was the first day of summer and a bright sunny day. When I got there I was so excited to play. When we found the spot we were going to stay I had to put my sunscreen on and take my bucket out of my pack. Then I went out to the wet sand and started to push the sand forward. I started to make a wall with the sand to block the big warm water waves from hitting my spot. When I was making my big castle there were children playing in the water all over the place. There were also surfers that were surfing in the big waves passing by. I finished the big wall and made my castle inside. When I was making my castle G mom came up and asked “What is the name of this castle?” I thought for a little bit and said King Hut. That was the first name that popped in my head. Then G mom said about 10 more minutes because I have been out for 1 hour. Then I washed myself at the shower. I got my towel and dried myself and then G mom and I saw a statue that was near where I played. It was the Duke statue!  » read more


The Ah Factor

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – kids love capitols. Why else would granddaughter Kayla make a statement like “I love this day!” as we returned to our room footsore and damp and too tired to think? We hadn’t been to Disneyland. We hadn’t been shopping for the latest “fads for girls.” We had been to the Hawaii State Capitol. We figured out the trolley lines (Red is the Historic Route), covered up our cameras with the bottom of our shirts (rain mist blew through the open trolley and wet us good); and off we went. Clang, clang, clang went the trolley; rain, rain, rain on our face; walk, walk, walk to the entrance, and then Kayla took off, Nikon around neck; squatting, standing, leaning, snapping shots of everything – the sky through the upward sweeping opening-instead-of-a-roof; the blue ceramic tiles circling in the center; the stones taking volcano shape on the side; images intended to evoke a feeling, show a certain attitude. Birds flew up, down, landed and skipped along the pavement at our feet; everyone we passed nodded and smiled. This was a happy place; how can I explain? » read more


The Way I See It

Kayla in the Governor's Chair

Kayla Shumate, age 10, traveling with grandmother, posting from Honolulu, Hawaii –G mom and I went to the capitol building. It was raining mist. We rode the trolley all the way there. We ran in to stay dry. When we walked in I saw rain falling from a hole in the center. G mom and I both took pictures of the opening from floor 1.It is open so people can see the sky. We went to the nearest elevator and G mom wanted to go to the highest point which was floor 5. We stopped along the way for other people to get on. The people asked where we visited from and we said Seattle. And they always said you brought the rain with you! We finally reached floor 5. I took more pictures of the opening at that floor. G mom and I saw the lieutenant governor’s office. We went in there first. There were some pictures in the lobby. We went to the other side which was the governor’s office. There were artifacts there. But best of all I got to sit in a very special seat. » read more


Welcome to Honolulu

Linda Burton posting from Honolulu, Hawaii – “I see the ocean!” Granddaughter Kayla began the day with this revelation; yes, there was ocean-blue a few blocks away, we could see it between the high-rise hotels that now define Waikiki Beach. Directly below our balcony was an oasis of green; that has to be the International Market, we surmised, looking over a tourist map. “Let’s get unpacked,” I said. “Let’s get outside!” Kayla said. All the weariness from yesterday disappeared during the night; we unzipped our bags and dumped out shirts and shorts and underwear; divvied up the dresser drawers. “Look at this,” I said, finding both the Holy Bible and the Teaching of Buddha in the nightstand drawer. I propped the two between my traveling talismans, an angel-on-watch, the fearless lion, and the cat, a depression-era hobo code-sign meaning a “kind lady” lived there. “That should do it,” I smiled. “I’m ready for Honolulu.” No breakfast offerings at this hotel; we agreed to walk the neighborhood until we found a place we liked. “Even if it’s lunch?” Kayla asked. It turned out to be brunch, and our first Honolulu sticker shock. A glass of chocolate milk, $4.95. “We have to import milk,” our server explained. “It’s a small island.” » read more